Air pollution

The astro-buzz, colony collapse disorder and other discontents

Submitted: May 16, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We have come to use the term "astro-turfing," derived from plastic grass replacing real turf on playing fields and lawns, to describe various types of propaganda from political campaigns or corporate public relations campaigns (if they can be distinguished).

This posting compares one of doubtlessly many similar articles propagated by Monsanto and other pesticide manufacturers  to demonstrate their love and care for bees, and the horrifying statistics of Colony Collapse that plod down the years like the footsteps of doom itself.

 

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Hogwash, flattery and 2 million acre-feet

Submitted: May 07, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Politicians striking poses in the face of natural disaster is older than the pharaohs. It is easier to imagine a tree falling unseen and unheard in a forest than it is to imagine a disaster without politicians crawling all over it flattering their own efforts and the strength of "their people."

"Heck of a job, Brownie"...etc.

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Environmental consequences of development of water and of energy in the Caliornia drought

Submitted: May 04, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Carl Pope, former executive director and chairman of the Sierra Club, spells out the connection between the development of water and of energy in California. It is a brief, important report based on a good question. -- blj

 

 

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Between drones

Submitted: Mar 26, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

It seems to be a week, as the drums of war go on beating, when people are looking for perspective. At least we don't think it is only us at Badlands. For awhile after the fall of the Soviet Union, there seemed to be a choice to be or not to be the world's policeman and "indispensable nation." Evidently, somewhere far beyond the counsel of ordinary people, the decision was made to continue to pour the public billions into the military-industrial complex.

Curiously, many of the so-called serious threats to our national security, for example, China, seem to investing in projects to improve their own and other nations' infrastructures to increase trade and prosperity.

 

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"Moving forward"

Submitted: Mar 18, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 We've been stunned by the drought and responses to it locally and at a state and national level. Environmentalists have been warning about how farmers have been over-drafting the aquifer in the Central Valley for decades and have been snubbed and demonized for mentioning it, as if we were not citizens and members of the same society that landowners and urban businessmen are. They don't even have to bribe elected officials anymore; social elites spring up overnight around wealth in new industries, whose "leaders" get what they want and they always want more water. Elected officials and educators -- from kindergarten to UC Merced -- babble on constantly about leadership. And they all use that one phrase, growing more absurd by the day: "We've got to move forward."

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Cloud of stink over new county courthouse

Submitted: Mar 11, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 MDA attorneys, headed by administrator Tom Pfeiff, handle criminal cases for indigent defendants in Merced County whenever any conflicts of interest prevent the Public Defender’s Office from representing someone..“Whatever issue has arisen with regard to the money received by Judge Garcia pursuant to the dissolution of our joint venture has nothing to do with MDA and is entirely between Judge Garcia and the Commission on Judicial Performance. Following the appointment, Pfeiff bought out Garcia, making payments in monthly installments between 2008 and 2012 totaling $250,000, the commission said.

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Moyers' last interview: in the Public Trust Doctrine

Submitted: Jan 08, 2015
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 

 

 It was typical of Bill Moyers, the guy who always got it, to end his magnificent career of public broadcasting with an interview on the environment, specifically how the great American environmental law, once the envy of the world's environmentalists, has been largely corrupted -- Badlands has done some documentation on that topic -- and that the whole environmental legal edifice needs to be regrounded in  Public Trust Doctrine. Moyer's guest, Mary Christina Wood, a legal scholar from the University of Oregon, has published a book on the topic, Nature's Trust: Environmental Law for a New Ecological Age, Cambridge University Press, 2013. -- blj

1-2-15

 

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Merced Development Rodeo: Team "Ol' Hoss" ropes Merced City Council and wins a prize

Submitted: Dec 26, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 Although landowners would love you to believe that farming and residential development are totally different operations, farmers being salt-of-the-earth, honest, God-fearing Jeffersonian yeomen of rural America, developers being mysteriously powerful, immensely rich city slickers, farming is in fact just as much "development" as residential construction is in terms of its effects on the environment and its returns of investment.

 

In the October 15th Merced City Council meeting, an item appeared under "Reports" that asked for a resolution that the

City Council of the City of Merced finds that farming and planting tree crops will be an allowed interim use within Bellevue Ranch West at such time that environmental review has occurred and the property owner has obtained an Interface Conditional Use Permit from the City of Merced to ensure compatibility with the existing residential uses within Bellevue Ranch.

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The gift of good journalism

Submitted: Dec 25, 2014
By: 
Badlands Journal editorial board

 And so, as the public mind is turned by the dance of sugar-plum fairies, there appears a thoughtful, critical piece of excellent reporting on the high speed rail project. -- blj

 

12-24-14

Sacramento Bee

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